Rare Cloud Iridescence in the sky above Scone, near Perth…12.02.16
Iridescent clouds are a diffraction phenomenon caused by small ice crystals individually scattering light. It is fairly uncommon phenomenon most often observed in altocumulus, cirrocumulus, lenticular and cirrus clouds. The colours are usually pastel but can be very vivid.
If parts of clouds have small droplets or crystals of similar size, their cumulative effect is seen as colors. The cloud must be optically thin, so that most rays encounter only a single droplet. Iridescence is therefore mostly seen at cloud edges or in semi-transparent clouds, and newly forming clouds produce the brightest and most colorful iridescence
Picture by Graeme Hart.
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